NEW ROCHELLE, NY — New Rochelle High School seniors Elijah Pomerantz and Randall St. Louis had already been named the class of 2018 valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, and had accepted offers from Ivy League schools when they received their latest distinction.
The two students were among 2,500 seniors across the country to be named National Merit Scholarship winners. Each of the awardees will receive a $2,500 scholarship from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, which selected the winners based on their accomplishments, skills and potential for success in rigorous college studies.
“This accomplishment is a reflection of all of their hard work and effort, and also a prime example of the high quality of the education that students receive in the New Rochelle public schools,” said NRHS Principal Reginald Richardson. “It reaffirms that Elijah and Randall will both graduate with promising futures, ready to take what they have learned here in our schools to the prestigious colleges they’ll attend, and out into the world at large.”
Both scholars are enrolled for the Fall 2018 semester. Pomerantz will attend Princeton University and St. Louis will attend Harvard University.
“Going through a New Rochelle public education, we learned everything we needed in terms of vocabulary, grammar and math skills to be able to do well,” Pomerantz said.
Pomerantz is considering studying math or physics. St. Louis plans to study engineering.
“I’ve always loved math and science and I also like thinking outside the box,” St. Louis said. “I felt that engineering would be a good combination of my strengths.”
This year’s National Merit Scholarship Program began in October 2016 when more than 1.6 million juniors took the Preliminary NMSC/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Last fall, 16,000 semifinalists were named, including five at NRHS. Those chosen were the highest-scoring participants in each state, representing less than one percent of the nation’s high school seniors.
About 15,000 advanced to the Finalist level. By the conclusion of the 2018 program, about 7,500 Finalists will have earned the “Merit Scholar” title and received a total of more than $31 million in college scholarships.